The Sweetest Thing

Simple things can mean SO much! And we never know when they are going to happen. Today, we went to watch our grandchildren play basketball. These were their last games of the season. They are eight and six. What we saw in our granddaughter, Laila’s, game really warmed our hearts. One little girl on the team was not running up and down the court. She stood under her basket, and waited—it’s easy to see those who are the leading players on these teams, and those who aren’t. This little girl wasn’t. She had probably not made a basket all season, and maybe had barely touched the ball. The coach’s daughter was making sure that wasn’t how she ended the season. Toward the end of the game, each time they brought the ball down to where she was standing, the coach’s daughter would gently throw the ball to her and tell her to, “Shoot it!” She tried numerous times to make a basket, and even though she never did, the kindness shown to her was so sweet.

Then we moved on to the next game of the day, our grandson’s game. He is eight, and even though he seems to love the game, he is not a star player. He runs up and down the court, and plays his position, but he barely gets his hands on the ball. I get joy watching him watch the scoreboard. Each time his team makes a basket, he waits for the score to change on the lighted board, and it makes him happy. The game was nearing the end when the unexpected happened, Jackson got a rebound. No one was more surprised than he was, and he turned to start dribbling the ball down the court. While doing so, he smiled up at his mom in the stands with the most amazed look on his face. He was like, “Look Mom, look! I’ve got the ball! I got the ball!” In this age group, they allow the boys to bring it down the court before trying to steal it from them. When Jackson got to his teammates at the other end of the court, he passed it to another boy, and ended his possession well. As the ball continued in play, I saw Jackson put his hand on his chest, and get the most astonished look on his face as he replayed what just happened in his mind. The game finished about two minutes later, and of course, we all congratulated Jackson on his accomplishment. Before leaving the stands, one of the mothers came over to my daughter-in-law, Holly, and said, “That was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.” To say there were tears in a few eyes would be very true.

As we Search And Notice the Divine in our world each day, we will find the sweetness of our God in many things, but none sweeter, I think, than the joy of a child. After the game Jackson said it was one of the best days of his life. Maybe it was for the other little girl, too. We can all take a lesson from these children...when we have a season in life that isn’t going so great, when it seems we can’t make a basket, or barely get our hands on the ball, we need to hang in there. We never know when the kindness of our God will make the long season well worth it.

See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
James 5:7-8 (NIV)